October 19, 2004

Another defender of The Know-It-All

I'm not the only one. Today, the Rocky Mountain News throws its mighty journalistic weight behind A.J. Jacobs in his battle against Joe Queenan.

"Queenan couldn't turn off his sneer. Well, upon reflection, I want to take back all the nice things I said about his book, now selling on Amazon for less than a buck, and praise Jacobs' book as much as possible.... Perhaps the cruelest fate for Queenan is this: Jacobs' book has already been sold to a studio planning to make it into a movie, and I bet it will be a big, funny hit, unlike the movie Queenan made. "

[via Romenesko]

Posted by Daniel Radosh


If the writer is the same Scott Yates from Colorado I worked with, that makes two ex-Spy staffers going after Queenan in one month! Conspiracy, anyone?

Wow, how much more of an idiot could Yates be—does he really believe that because having ones book optioned to be made into a movie is the ultimate validation of cultural legitimacy? Also, Yates doesn't know how to properly place an apostrophe and thinks that the phrase "leavened with a pastiche of self-mocking" means something. Queenan happens to be 100% right, but since the world is now run by pedigreed imbeciles, it doesn't matter much. Nice of you to stand up for your editor, though.

Yeah, Yates' argument would not have been my own (was not my own, in fact), so don't expect me to defend anything he says. But while I guess it's nice to be considered loyal, in fact I would not have stood up for A.J. had I not genuinely believed that he'd been wronged.

Also, the possessive indefinite pronoun "one's" takes an apostrophe. Right, Vance?

You got that right, Daniel. Thanks for standing up for your editor.

To clarify about the apostrophe indignation, I was referring to this sentence in Yates' piece:

Jacobs gives each letter in the encyclopedia it's own chapter.

And that would be a misplaced apostrophe. Not to be all "so there"-ish or anything.

No, no. I'm the one who was being so-thereish, in pointing out that while you criticized Yates' apostrophe misuse, you made a similar error yourself ("having ones book optioned").

I admit this was obnoxious of me -- a comment on a blog should hardly be held to the same standards a newspaper. But then again, I'm not sure the Rocky Mountain News should be held to the same standards as a newspaper either.

No sweat. I obviously got bit on the ass by some arbiter of apostrophe karma.

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